Building Confidence and Parenting Skills While Your Baby Is in the NICU

For parents, having a kid in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can be terrifying or stressful. While your newborn receives lifesaving support from NICU equipment and qualified personnel, you may struggle to assume your parental role or may feel fearful, helpless, or uncertain.

Understanding the NICU’s inner workings and connecting with available support can help you build confidence, identify ways to contribute, and develop into an advocate for yourself and your kid. Additional information is available via the resources listed below.

Parenting Tips for Developing Caregiving Skills with a NICU Baby

Understand your parental rights, including what you can want and anticipate throughout your baby’s time in the NICU; the NICU Baby’s Bill of Rights may be helpful.

Practice routine infant care, such as changing clothes and bathing; inform your neonatal nurse practitioner or other provider if and when you are ready to master these skills.

If time permits, take care of your baby’s laundry; some parents report that washing and returning their baby’s clothes to the NICU makes them feel more connected.

When feasible, be there throughout feeding and bathing times, and collaborate with your nurse to ensure your participation.

Contact the lactation consultant at your hospital, if one is available, to develop a plan for feeding your baby at home.

Choose the pediatrician who will assist you in caring for your baby following his or her stay in the NICU.

Notify your insurance provider of your intention to add your infant to your policy.

FOOD MANAGEMENT (NICU AND BREASTFEEDING, BOTTLE FEEDING AND FORMULA)

Breastfeeding | Office on Women’s Health: A one-stop shop for nursing information, including breastfeeding positions and pumping and storing milk.

Breastfeeding in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Information from a Lactation Consultant | Hand to Hold: Practical advice for women breastfeeding premature babies, as well as suggestions for supportive loved ones.

Feeding Difficulties and Your Preemie | Hand to Hold: Information about feeding issues and feeding treatment that a premature baby may require throughout the first days and months of life.

Feeding Your Baby Following a NICU Stay | March of Dimes: Answers to frequently asked concerns about feeding preemies following a NICU stay, including how to determine when your baby is full and where to find help.

Feeding Your Baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit | March of Dimes: Description of infant feeding options in the NICU, including breastfeeding, bottle feeding, a feeding tube, or an intravenous line (IV).

Find a Lactation Consultant | International Lactation Consultant Association: Online directory of board-certified lactation consultants and their services, as well as information on prices and medical coverage.

How to Bottle Feed a Preemie |: Six recommendations from a registered nurse in a tertiary-level neonatal intensive care unit for bottle feeding a premature infant.

La Leche League Online Support Resources | LLLI: A collection of online breastfeeding resources for families worldwide, including virtual support groups which is very helpful during the pandemic, publications, and printable toolkits.

Nourishing Your Premature Baby in the NICU | Hand to Hold: A neonatal registered dietitian discusses the nutrition and growth processes that are particular to premature infants.

Practical Bottle Feeding Tips | American Academy of Pediatrics: Eight tips for bottle feeding a newborn safely and successfully.

 

Additional Resources:

How to tell if you need to go to the chiropractor?

Seeing a chiropractor has a wide range of benefits that can significantly improve one’s physical and emotional health. Yet many people believe they should see a chiropractor only when something goes wrong or when their pain symptoms become intolerable. A chiropractor can assist in preventing an injury from occurring in the first place.

While the majority of individuals are aware that it is time to contact a chiropractor if they are experiencing back pain, there are additional indicators to consider. The following are ten indicators that you should consult a chiropractor:

 

Headaches

The cause of Headaches ranges from a variety of conditions, including dehydration, hunger, lack of oxygen, or a neck or spine misalignment. A chiropractor can assist in relieving headaches and increasing blood flow to the brain, which increases the oxygen levels that reach the brain.

 

Additionally, your chiropractor may propose dietary changes to assist you enhance your general health.

 

Pain in a joint or muscle

If you are having muscular or joint discomfort, your initial impulse should not be to reach for the aspirin in your medical cabinet. Your pain could be the result of musculoskeletal alignment issues.

 

A chiropractor is educated to ensure that your body functions efficiently by relieving discomfort in your joints and muscles using spinal adjustments. These spinal modifications improve blood flow and nerve conductivity to painful joints and muscles.

 

Your Job Requires Long Periods of Sitting

If your job entails prolonged sitting, particularly bent over a keyboard, it is not uncommon to develop extremely terrible posture. Incorrect posture places undue strain on the upper back, neck, and shoulders. Pressure on the discs and bones can cause them to shift sufficiently to produce complications such as a slipped or herniated disc.

 

A chiropractor can ensure that your spine is properly positioned, preventing future difficulties.

 

Back Pain That Is Constant

Chronic back pain is one of the most evident symptoms that a chiropractic visit is necessary. Numerous variables can contribute to back pain, including posture, the amount of time spent on your feet each day, and the sort of work performed.

 

Chiropractic care can relieve pain without the use of invasive surgery or medications.

 

Your shoes’ soles wear out differently.

If the wear on the soles of your shoes don’t match each other, this is a sign that your body is out of alignment and requires adjustment. Uneven wear on your shoes is a fairly accurate indicator that you have a subluxation in your spine and require chiropractic spinal manipulation to correct your spine and prevent the problem from recurring and becoming chronic.

 

Range of Motion Restriction

If you become aware that your arms and legs are less flexible than they once were, or that your neck cannot spin as far in one direction as it once could, this is a solid indication that you should see a chiropractor.

 

Chiropractic adjustments realign the bones and joints, reducing discomfort and expanding the range of motion of the body. Maintaining a proper range of motion enables the body to function at its best.

 

You Were Recently Involved in an Accident

Being a part of any kind of accident, such as a vehicle or motorbike crash, can result in serious injuries that require the assistance of a skilled chiropractor. Numerous chiropractors specialize in automobile accident injuries and are capable of diagnosing and treating a wide variety of various problems.

 

Consultation with a chiropractor should be a primary priority following an injury.

 

Your Legs Have a Sharp, Shooting Pain

If you get a sharp, shooting pain in your legs, tingling, or weakness, this may be an indication of a pinched nerve or slipped disc.

 

A professional chiropractor can evaluate the source of your leg discomfort and perform a spinal adjustment to relieve the pressure on the nerve that is causing you agony.

 

You Are an Active Individual

If you lead an active lifestyle and spend time exercising or participating in sports, your body is put under additional stress and strain. This additional tension can result in the spine becoming crooked. After indulging in these activities for an extended period of time, the body can become prone to pinched nerves, slipped discs, and other alignment issues.

 

Seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis helps to maintain your body’s optimal function, allowing you to continue living the busy lifestyle you enjoy.

 

You Desire a More Health-Conscious Lifestyle

If you want to live a healthier lifestyle or simply become more aware of how to properly care for your body, Atlas Wellness Chiropractic is a fantastic resource. Atlas Wellness can assist you with physical therapy, sport injury, and massage therapy. All of this, in addition to spinal adjustments, contributes to your bodily and emotional well-being.

Additional Resources:

Five changes to Social Security are set to take effect next week; are you prepared?

Major Changes Coming to Social Security

Numerous changes are in store for Social Security users in 2022, which is only one week away.

Seventy million Americans are reliant on government assistance and are influenced by these changes.

One significant change is a rise in the COLA, but there will be others as well.

The first and most well-known change is an increase in COLA or cost of living adjustments. This occurs annually to assist persons on a fixed income in keeping up with inflation. COLA increased by 5.9 percent this year. Inflation increased by more than 6% in 2021, according to data. This increase will result in a 5.9 percent rise in recipients’ checks. Couples would receive an additional $154 per month, while individuals would receive an additional $92 per month.

Additionally, those receiving SSDI, or disability insurance, will enjoy a 5.9 percent raise. These will provide beneficiaries with an additional $76 each month. SSDI recipients have infirmities that prevent them from working or require them to work less, the objective is to compensate for the income that has been lost. To view the full extent of the medical conditions that qualify a person for Social Security Disability Benefits, visit here

In 2022, the wages ceiling will be increased. Anyone earning more beyond a certain amount often sees their benefits diminish, and the threshold will increase next year. In 2021, the Social Security Administration will withhold $1 for every $2 earned beyond $18,960. In 2022, the Social Security Administration will not begin withholding until you earn more than $19,560. These are the salaries available to persons who retire before reaching full retirement age.

Earnings will not be withheld from those reaching full retirement age in 2022 until they hit $51,960. Credit-earning threshold will increase to $1,510 in 2022, up from $1,470 in 2021. To retire, you must earn 40 credits. Finally, another significant change is that workers will be required to pay a higher share of Social Security taxes. In 2021, the tax threshold was $142,800. It will be $147,000 in 2022.

If you’re curious if you or a loved one qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits, you can take this free evaluation form and get in contact with a disability attorney. As well as learning how to apply for benefits online or going in person to your local Social Security Office.

If you’re located in the Houston, Texas area and are interested in going to your local Social Security office, the following are offices located in Houston, Texas.

 

How Opioid Addiction is Destroying U.S. Veterans

Today, the United States faces a nationwide epidemic that kills tens of thousands every year; opioid addiction. What makes opioid addiction so prevalent is that no demographic is immune to its development. However, veterans are experiencing the crippling effects of opioid addiction more than anyone else.

 

A 2011 study revealed that patients of the Veterans Health Administration are 2 times as likely to die from an accidental overdose than non-veterans. This stems back to the original purpose of prescribed opioids: to treat pain. The JAMA Internal Medicine reported in 2014 that just about half of returning veterans suffer from chronic pain, whereas a quarter represents the general population. As a result, opioids are being prescribed more than ever before. 15% of the U.S. military depends on opioids post-deployment, versus 4% of the general public.

 

Sabrina Franks is a recovery assistant at a Volunteers of America Adult Detox center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The residential program, which focuses on the homeless and low-income men and women, are now collaborating with Veteran Affairs to prioritize desperate veterans. The decision provided Franks a different perspective on the differences between servicemen and women seeking help and the program’s remaining clientele.

“I’ve noticed they are more closed off about what they’re going through,” Franks told Talbott Recovery in this exclusive interview. “Our clients come in, and they’re very open about their symptoms. Whereas, veterans come in and they just lie in bed. They’re clearly miserable, but they won’t come to staff or really engage with a lot of other clients.”

 

Franks partly attributes it to post-traumatic stress syndrome, which she said is common among the veterans at the center. “Also, there’s the idea that you have to be ‘army strong.’”

When it comes to the substances that drive veterans to their door, Franks said it depends on the client’s age. “With the older veterans, I’ve noticed it’s more alcohol. The younger veterans that have come in I’ve noticed it’s more opiates that are a problem.” For those in the latter group, she said many cite injury as the pathway to abuse. “I’ve heard that a few times from them and from other people–that injury is what led them to addiction.”

Sean M. experienced all of this first hand as an Airborne Ranger in Afghanistan.

“I did not realize the toll that multiple deployments took on my mental health,” he wrote in the story he posted on the Heroes in Recovery website. Rather than opioids, however, Sean turned to alcohol. “With every deployment, I came back and drank a little bit more.” This continued until he was admitted into the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP). “I was an ASAP rehab failure.”3

 

Forced out of the Army, PTSD and alcoholism took over. “My life fell apart…PTSD and alcohol dependence were killing me physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.” Several stints in rehab followed until finally, in 2012, something changed. “That was when I finally got it. I finally did it for myself.”

The strength to go through recovery after several relapses is a feat Franks said is something she’s seen in her own program’s veteran clients.

 

“I think they go through the same things with addiction that other people go through in terms of it taking them a few times to commit to going into treatment.” But, she said, “I do feel like when they do commit to recovery, they do tend to be stubborn about it.”

If you are looking for treatment for drug addiction, below are links to drug rehab centers in major cities across America:

 

Thankfully for people like Sean, Veteran Affairs is becoming more efficient in treatment as well as prevention regarding opioid addiction and their servicemen and women. VA centers are increasingly introducing non-drug involved therapies for handling chronic pain such as yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy and mindfulness. The Veteran Affairs created the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2013 to more efficiently track opioid use among veterans in their healthcare system. Lastly, the VA has reduced supply, decreasing the number of veterans receiving opioids by 20% and dosages for near 17,000 patients.

But the battle is not over. From 2010 to 2015, the U.S. saw a 55% increase in the number of veterans struggling with opioid addiction. However, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the VA’s deputy under secretary for health and organizational excellence, is staying positive.

“I’m very pleased to say that we have made substantial progress across the system,” she said in an interview with Frontline. “We’re not done, but it is literally a priority that is part of the fabric across our system, and we monitor this on a regular basis.”